Higher education is constantly evolving to reflect the changing interests of students and specialized needs of employers. At UW–Madison, the majors with the greatest enrollment growth are a good barometer of the university’s responsiveness to these trends.

“Student demand plays a major role,” says Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs John Karl Scholz. “But it is also the case that the leadership, staff and faculty of the schools and colleges are constantly revising curriculum to improve and adapt.”

The undergraduate majors adding the most students from fall 2018 to fall 2022 are:

No. 1: Data Science (+914 since inception in 2019)

“Our world increasingly depends on data and computing to produce knowledge and to make decisions, and we have seen an intense demand from students for these skills,” says Yazhen Wang, professor and chair of the Department of Statistics. Both Data Science and Computer Sciences reside in the School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences (CDIS), formed in 2019 to combine existing programs in statistics, computer sciences and the iSchool with new offerings in emerging fields.

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